This is an announcement that is already making a lot of noise, and highlights the porosity between public and private.
Even before the announcement of the new government, the French start-up Hopium announced on Monday the imminent arrival on its board of directors of the Minister Delegate for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari.
An appointment that the High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life (HATVP) has validated - with reservations, however - in an opinion of March 22.
Since 2013, the retraining in the private sector of former members of the government must be controlled by this body, created under François Hollande.
Because they can't do anything once they leave the executive.
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On the criminal level on the one hand, the new activity of a minister must not lead him to commit the offense of illegal taking of interests.
Concretely, the law prohibits a former public official from "
working, in the broad sense, for an enterprise which was subject to his power of supervision or control when he exercised public functions, with which he concluded contracts or at the in respect of which it has taken or proposed decisions
”, indicates the HATVP on its site.
A misdemeanor punishable by three years imprisonment and a fine of 200,000 euros - the amount can be increased to double the proceeds of the offence.
On the other hand, on the ethical level, three conditions must be respected by a former minister within the framework of his mobility towards the private sector.
First, his new activity must not "
impair the dignity, probity and integrity
" of his previous functions in government.
Second, it must not “
call into question the independent, impartial and objective functioning
” of the executive.
the fact of exercising this new activity must not reveal the existence of a situation of conflict of interest when the person concerned exercised his public functions
For example, a public official does not have the right to use his functions to prepare his professional retraining.
These broad outlines, which are rather vague, then guide the control of the HATVP.
For the former members of the government, it is up to the minister himself to seize the independent authority in the event of departure in the private sector.
And this, in the three years following the departure of the government.
From the referral, the High Authority has two months to make a decision.
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Very majority favorable opinions
Four types of opinion can be rendered by the HATVP: compatibility, compatibility with reservations, incompatibility and incompetence.
It appears that they are mostly favorable.
The latest activity report of the body, relating to the year 2020, shows that, that year, it was seized 18 times under the control of professional retraining in the private sector.
Both for members of the government and for members of independent administrative and public authorities or local elected representatives.
Apart from the two opinions of incompetence, it issued 86% of opinions of compatibility, among which a little more than three quarters are accompanied by reservations
”, can we read in its report.
For the only former members of the executive, no mobility was deemed incompatible.
Whether for example that of former Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on the board of directors of Atos (compatibility with reservations) or that of former government spokesperson Sibeth Ndiaye as secretary general of Adecco France .
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The notices of professional retraining in the private sector of former members of the government being public (on the HATVP website), it is easy to note that, since 2019, the HATVP has not even rejected any movement towards the private sector of former ministers.
For example, it issued a favorable opinion, with reservations, to Benjamin Griveaux (spokesperson), Brune Poirson (Ecological and solidarity transition), Laura Flessel (Sports), Michel Sapin (Economy) or even Myriam El Khomri (Work).
Reservations which are in fact precautionary measures.
For example, for Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, they consist of the absence "
of any approach, including representation of interests
", with "
members of the government who were members at the same time as him
as well as "
of services available to him as Minister Delegate in charge of Transport
These provisions are valid for three years.
If they are not respected, the High Authority is required to alert the public prosecutor, who can take legal action in the case.
In the event of a notice of incompatibility of the HATVP, the reconversion project cannot be carried out.